According to ESPN’s Adam Shefter, the Indianapolis Colts will be signing quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
This may be considered a non-news story to some, but peeling back the layers, this is huge.
You could argue that there isn’t a more important position on the football field than backup quarterback, yet so many teams continue to fill the spot with nobodies — guys who you would never trust the keys to your franchise to. The Minnesota Vikings were hit the hardest by this last season, when the lack of a quality backup quarterback went a long way in costing them a playoff win vs the Packers.
Hasselbeck’s presence on the Colts roster makes them easily the most stable team in the NFL at the position. The whole point of having a backup at any position is to minimize the impact of losing your starter by way of minimizing talent drop-off. I’m not just talking about physical talent, especially at the quarterback position. Quarterback talent has as much to do with the neck up as it does with the physical characteristics of the player.
As I scan the current NFL quarterback depth charts, I don’t see a more talented backup quarterback than Matt Hasselbeck.
What this means for the Colts is that, at least for this coming season, they have the securing of knowing that their franchise is in capable hands should anything happen to Andrew Luck. They won’t be handing the keys to a young, inexperienced risk taker looking to make a name for himself. They’ll be handing the keys to a savvy veteran — the only backup in the NFL who has started in a Super Bowl — who knows how to utilize the talent around him to win games.
In a season where the Colts are coming off a playoff appearance and looking like contenders in the AFC South, there is a good chance they could host a home playoff game in January. How valuable will it be to know that if Luck gets dinged up at the end of the year, they’ll have a veteran the likes of Hasselbeck to do what needs to be done to potentially secure a home win and survive to play another week?
I don’t know that you can put a price tag on this kind of security. As such, the Colts may have just landed the best value during free agency thus far, regardless of the price.
While others are overspending on players who play positions that are largely interchangeable, the Colts have made a quiet investment to secure the most important position on the field.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON MARCH 19, 2013